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  1. Default Dec Grand Canyon thru Yosemite to San Fran - Rental Cars and Chains

    Hi

    Planning a 3 week trip in 15 Dec 2008 - 4 Jan to go from LA to San Diego across to Flagstaff/ Sedona, up to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, through Zion, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, San Fran and back to LA. Phew!

    The big question which I really cant see an answer to though there is discussion is - do I need to carry chains? Also what happens if you hire a rental car - do people put chains on them - can you hire chains or is it better to buy.

    Also I was going to book in advance accommodation but now I am thinking that it may be silly to do this as if it snows then I may not get to Moab, Sedona, Grand Canyon etc. What do you think?

    Many thanks
    Rose

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Are You Sure?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Winter can be a wonderful time to visit the southwest's natural wonders. You get to see them in a way and at a time that few people get to senjoy. However, there are reasons few people venture into these areas at this time of year. Zion's roads are often snow covered and icy, The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed from November to May. Bryce Canyon closes intermittently due to snow and only reopens when the roads have been plowed and are again safe to drive. All roads through the high passes of Yosemite are closed from November to May (or longer). If you plan to be driving in this neck of the woods at this time of year, you must be prepared to handle the conditions you may encounter or to sit out snowstorms and the time it takes to clear roads in sparsely populated and traveled areas. It does not sound like the former is true in your case. In which case, chains are not the answer

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-11-2008 at 12:26 AM.

  3. Default

    Thanks for this advice - what parts might be alright to schedule in - would the arches national park be the same. Would it be more dependable to get to the Grand Canyon - South Rim?

    Rose

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Need to Be Flexible

    All of the National Parks are open 365 days a year (with the occasional exception for Christmas). That does not mean that they are accessible 24/7/365. In the event of a storm, the roads into and through any park in these areas can be closed for a day or so. There is no way to predict when or for how long this far in advance of your trip. The best advice I can give you is to plan for the best, but be willing and able to adjust those plans on the fly if the need arises.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    Thanks again. I will do that and wont make reservations I cant move without losing money. Is a four wheel drive necessary for this type of road trip - is there any real advantages - it costs about double to hire and then there is more gas as well so your view would be really helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Nope

    4 Wheel Drive in a rental car is kind of a joke. Many of the same statements about driving with chains can apply to 4 wheel drive, if you aren't familiar with driving in winter, 4 wheel drive won't be that much help. If anything, it will provide confidence that you shouldn't have.

    4 wheel drive is a great way for rental cars to make money off people who think it sounds cool or have been convinced by car commercials that 4 wheel drive is a necessity.

  7. Default Dec 2008 Page through to Bryce Canyon

    Hi
    Planning on going from Grand Canyon to Page and then heading west through the Vermillion cliffs to Bryce Canyon. Can anyone tell me is the road likely to be closed at that time of the year - is it usually kept clear?
    Many thanks
    Rose

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